What to look out for as ice in your pipes and snow on the ground starts to thaw

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – When things are slowly thawing you may think you are clear about not seeing any leaks in your home, but a local plumber tells us it may not.

“Some of the damage done to the pipes is not visual,” said Jayme Mullin, owner of Hi-Tech Plumbing in Edmond.

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Mullin says his phones rang with cries for help.

“We haven’t had anything like this since 1989. There were some in ’08, ’11 that kept us busy for a couple of weeks. But the volume of people in need of help is just unlike anything we’ve seen since, ”said Mullin.

As frozen pipes thaw, the damage becomes evident and some homes flood. But Mullin says there’s something a lot of homeowners learn the hard way.

“The most important thing is to know where to put the water. Because it’s not like, “Oh, I know my pipes are defrosted.” They could only do it later. And if you do, you really need to know where your shut-off valves are, ”said Mullin.

Although temperatures are not yet above freezing, most pipes are already starting to thaw, but you can speed up the process with items like a hairdryer or heating tape.

The Red Cross even says you can use space heating, but they have a warning.

“Do not use an open flame. Don’t use anything flammable, propane or a blowtorch, ”said Angie Springs, spokeswoman for the Red Cross.

And outside the home, thawing snow causes problems too. You should look for slippery spots on your porch, driveway, and sidewalks.

“We still have bitterly cold nights ahead of us until the weekend. So any water that melts will freeze again before the sun goes down, ”said Mike Morgan, News 4’s chief meteorologist.

Falling icicles are also a hazard to watch out for as they can cause injury.

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Mullin says you might be tempted to stop your faucets from dripping. For now, he says he would keep it going as the temperatures are still not above freezing.

Mullin also says plumbers have struggled to get home quickly for the past few days. While road conditions have improved on most of the city’s streets, neighborhoods are still a problem for drivers. Mullin left some of his own employees stuck in the snow.

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